Top 10 ranking: No. 8 for training, No. 1 for retention Innovation is the name of the game at this San Antonio-based financial services company, which offers a lab for IT employees to design and test ideas before moving them to full-scale development. In fact, the lab was the launching pad for two of USAA's newest applications: Deposit@Home (a tool that allows customers to deposit checks at home using their own PCs and scanners) and Deposit@Mobile (a tool for depositing checks using an iPhone). Employees are eligible to receive recognition and monetary rewards for viable inventions and for taking part in efforts to help protect the company's intellectual property through patent applications. IT employees made up 60% of the reward recipients in 2009, and the average reward was $1,000. It's a good place to stay: IT workers currently have an average tenure of 11 years with the company, and 66% of IT employees have worked there for more than five years. USAA also helps keep its employees healthy by subsidizing 87.5% of medical insurance costs and offering a personal care account of $1,000 to $3,000 per year to help pay for many expenses the plan doesn't cover. Employees can also take advantage of free, annual health risk screenings and a free, 24-hour nurse hotline. Money talks: In 2009, 13% of the IT workforce received a promotion. In February, following performance evaluations, employees received an average base salary increase of 3.3%, and employees in good standing received a bonus equal to 18.8% of their eligible compensation, the highest performance bonus ever awarded at USAA. More money comes their way each December, when employees receive a bonus equal to two weeks' base pay. USAA also paid out $925,688 in educational assistance dollars to IT employees in 2009. New this year: A performance evaluation tool that promotes ongoing manager-employee communication to encourage professional development and career growth.
Read more about this Best Place to Work.